The Roxbury Public Library Strategic Plan is the result of many hours of collaboration including input from the library staff, the Board of Trustees, the Strategic Planning Committee, Friends of the Library, the Roxbury community and its leaders. Together we have developed a new Vision and Mission for the Roxbury Public Library for the future. We have also established five key goals:
By accomplishing the goals and action steps detailed in this plan, the library will continue to meet the needs of our patrons and community and be a place for all to share ideas, be entertained, educated and informed. We invite the Roxbury community to join together in the years to come as we bring our goals to fruition. Please take the time to read this document and view it as a blueprint for the future of the Roxbury Public Library.
President, Roxbury Public Library Board of Trustees
The strategic planning process started with an in-depth analysis of the Roxbury Township community. Consultants gathered data from quantitative sources, such as the U.S. Census and the NJ School Performance Report, to determine highlights, trends, and unique features of the Roxbury community.
In an effort to better understand the concerns, attitudes, opinions, challenges, experiences, and needs of the residents of Roxbury Township, a community-wide survey was developed. The survey was distributed to residents and other stakeholders through the library’s email newsletter and social media. It was also published in a print format and distributed at the library service desk, book sales, and during in-person programming (including summer reading). The print survey was also made available at Town Hall, Senior meetings, and Rotary Club.
The information gathering phase also featured a staff survey to solicit input from library employees, and determine additional opportunities for strategic growth.
Consultants led a series of focus groups to explore themes identified in the surveys, and obtain more detailed feedback from key stakeholders in Roxbury Township. These focus groups included conversations with key demographics, including: 8th graders, working adults, parents, seniors, and community organizations.
Following the conclusion of the information gathering phase, consultants met with the strategic planning committee to develop the overarching mission and vision for the strategic plan. Based on the information gathered from the community analysis, surveys, and focus groups, consultants conducted additional meetings to establish the goals and objectives of the strategic plan.
The final strategic plan is a result of a joint effort between the Roxbury library community, and Library Crossroads Consultants. The plan has been informed by input from the residents and various stakeholders of Roxbury Township, and analysis performed by consultants in collaboration with the library’s strategic planning committee.
It is often said that if you want to learn about a community and its residents, just spend some time in the public library. So, when the Roxbury Public Library decided to refresh its strategic plan, they made sure to invite a large and diverse group from the community to get their ideas for the future of the library and its role in the Township of Roxbury.
The Community Analysis section of this report was commissioned by the Library’s Board of Trustees and includes qualitative data from sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau and the NJ School Performance Report, as well as insight gained from surveys and focus groups. These measurable statistics help us better understand the Roxbury community and the changes it is experiencing. It also helps us more clearly identify emerging trends that were reflected in feedback from library staff and town residents.
In fact, some of our most important insights came from our discussions with members of the community, which included library staff, trustees, municipal and community leaders, as well as ordinary people who use our library every day. In almost every case, the importance of the library as a safe and secure focal point in our community for the free and open exchange of ideas came through loud and clear. In addition, residents told us that the library serves as a meeting place, a center for cultural and educational activities, and a gateway to the internet and the world beyond Roxbury. Residents also noted the library’s role in bringing the community together and in helping Roxbury be a place that welcomes and values diversity and inclusion and understands that our differences make us strong.
Taken together, these comments along with the entire strategic analysis help the library’s Board of Trustees and administration map the future direction of the library and keep it relevant to the needs of our community. The Trustees wish to thank everyone who took part in the surveys and focus groups. According to Roxbury Deputy Mayor Jaki Albrecht, who participated in the strategic planning committee, the data and feedback not only give us a roadmap for the future of the library, it also told us the library is valued and going in the right direction.
We want to extend a heartfelt thanks of gratitude to every single person who took the time to fill out our survey, all the individuals who contributed to our focus groups, and the members of the Strategic Planning Committee who pored over responses, notes, and came up with vision behind this plan.
From the beginnng, the library aimed for this process to be community-led. Thanks to the dedication of everyone involved, we believe we've accomplished our goal.
The Stratgeic Planning Committee: